FVHS graduate finds his way back to Bengal Blvd


Photo by Margaux Burkhart

Tyler Cole, the new choir teacher at FVHS, attributes his journey to becoming a music teacher to his positive experiences and role models while a students at FVHS.

Margaux Burkhart, Staff Writer

High school graduates are given so many new opportunities that they have never had before. A choice to go to college, work, or even move as far away as they want. Hundreds of graduates spread out far and wide to explore new horizons. However for 2016 Fuquay graduate Tyler Cole, his postgraduate journey landed him right back in high school just five years later. 

Cole was luckier than some and had a great high school experience. He was a good student who was actively involved in the chorus and theater programs. Cole recalls his favorite high school memory during his senior year, as to just how thankful he was for the experience. 

“It was after I finished my last show,” he recalled. “I had left my backpack in the auditorium. I went back to go get it, and I realized I was standing exactly where I stood the first time I entered [the] stage in my first show. So for a minute, I played around and recited my lines from my first show and then, burst into tears, and cried the whole way home. I was just so thankful for everything I got to experience.” 

It was in high school that Cole discovered his love for choir and chose his career path. Cole had initially wanted to become an aeronautical engineer, but his high school chorus teacher, along with some difficult math classes, changed his mind. 

“I had originally wanted to do aeronautical engineering, and then I took pre-calc, and then I took AP physics and realized I could do it. But I hated it,” Cole explained. “Then the choir teacher at the time, Mrs.McCoy, just really inspired me, just seeing the effect that she had on other students, how people responded to her, what she was able to create musically. She instilled a love for music in me, and I finally realized that this was where I wanted to be.”

This love for choir fuelled Cole to go to Wingate University and pursue a degree in music, where he graduated in 2020. The school had a strong choir program and was a place where students can have a hand in everything. He built up a strong knowledge of choir and teaching music, and when it was time to pick a job, he knew where he wanted to go.

“I always kind of considered Fuquay to be a dream job,” he said, “to get to come back and kind of rebuild it [the Fuquay choir] to what I know it once was. I know the feel here; the environment is really great. I know kind of how things work and what the expectations are. I love the community connection to the school and support for it, especially the arts. So I wanted to be a part of that again.” 

Cole mentions that the experience has been amazing. From being co-workers with his former teachers to working hard to meet his own self-set expectations, Cole has been placed into a new and challenging journey. He is, however, happy with where he is. He believes he leads a strong choir, and he enjoys the students he is able to teach.

“My choir is kind of built on give respect, get respect,” Cole said. “I am very quick to give respect and nine times out of ten that is returned.” 

Having achieved his dream job, Cole looks forward to a humble future, which consists of small goals just to keep him happy. The next few years look to be full of “teaching, continuing to do fun DIY projects, being a dog dad, and a husband,” he said. “I’m not gonna say kids, but that’s probably it.”